The Moving Clocks Puzzle

The Moving Clocks Puzzle

Create February 04, 2012 / By Barry R. Clarke
The Moving Clocks Puzzle

Take the time to think unconventionally!

A huge warm welcome to my new creative thinking puzzle column!

For many years, I've been writing brain teasers for The Daily Telegraph as well as publishing books of original puzzles, and I'd like to present a certain type of puzzle that demands an unusual way of thinking, the ability to reinterpret a visual scene or phrase in an unconventional way. In my experience, being able to solve this type of puzzle is a gift that only the creative possess, but with regular exposure many of the tricks can be learned. They will certainly encourage you to look at life in a different way!

The solution to each puzzle will be posted the following Sunday but please don't feel bad if you struggle to reach the answer. I hope that you can still get pleasure from seeing it as Puzzle Art ... and anyway you can always tease your friends with it afterwards!

Recently, I arranged to meet a couple of friends in London outside Victoria Station at a landmark called Little Ben, a miniature replica in iron of the famous Big Ben at the Palace of Westminster. Forever punctual, I turned up ten minutes early only to find that workmen had fenced off the surrounding area, and had temporarily removed the timepiece to safety while they carried out maintenance work. My first reaction was alarm, but then I realised that it was not the location that had moved, only the clock, and that my friends should still find me without too much trouble.

Anyway, I was reading the sign on the fence when a silver-haired fellow in a pork pie hat and bushy grey moustache accosted me and demanded to know where the clock was. Now my usual reaction to an incongruous approach is to play along, so I jokingly replied that the clock had been stolen. "Are you telling me that's what it says on that sign?!" he retorted. "Yes," said I, "but the police have no time to find it!"

I suspect he missed the irony because he turned away in silence and was soon gone, but the mystery of the moving clock brought to mind a puzzle I once invented while waiting for a train on a platform at Oxford station.

Shown are seven clocks giving various times. Rearrange them amongst the seven positions, without changing their orientation, so that they all show a single time.

(Solution will be posted next Sunday)

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